It was a record-setting weekend for Rowan’s men’s indoor track & field team as the 4×400 meter relay team broke the Division III national record at the Valentine Invitational.
The relay quartet of Jah’mere Beasley, Nana Agyemang, Marquise Young and Amara Conte finished with a time of 3:10.09, eclipsing the national record of 3:11.10 set by Lincoln University 19 years ago in March of 2004.
“They had been talking about breaking the national record for the past two years,” Assistant Coach Norm Tate said. “In order for them to do that I told them ‘We gotta up the ante’ and basically the reason that they are running as fast as they are now is because I don’t think about D3 competition, I think about D1 competition.”
Coach Tate expressed how proud he is of the guys for reaching that goal but also added that the D3 level deserves more recognition.
“I still can’t talk from Saturday because I yelled so loud,” Coach Tate said. “That’s the kind of coach I am at meets… I’m so happy for them because they’re D3 and D3 doesn’t get the recognition sometimes that it should.”
That lack of recognition is not something only Coach Tate has grown tired of but the team as well.
“I actually do feel like we still have a little bit to prove,” Beasley said. “Just for the simple fact that like if you look at a lot of the teams and a lot of the athletes that these websites and these different kinds of sports pages and podcasts write about and interview… We didn’t get interviewed on any kind of podcast or anything like that, they weren’t showing love. Then, we went and broke a school record that was over 25 years old and they didn’t show love for that either so I feel like in a way we still have a little bit to prove.”
After breaking the 19-year record and reaching one of their biggest goals of the season, the team has not lost any focus. They have already set new goals and new heights that they believe they can and will reach.
“I wanna break it again,” Young said. “I want to get even faster because it’s all going to correlate to when we run outdoors.”
Coach Tate also mentioned the outdoor record and had no hesitation in predicting what he believes his team can do.
“We want both records,” Coach Tate said. “The outdoor record is 3:07 something, I predict that we can run 3:06. In fact, I think we can make the Championship of America with our relay this year at Penn Relays.”
Beasley and Young both feel like there is something to prove with this team and that soon everyone will see what they are capable of.
“Like Geno Smith said they tried to write us off but we didn’t write back,” Young said. “They’re gonna see it. I’d rather show it than talk. They know who we are. They can doubt it, they can say whatever they want to say but they’re gonna see it when we run against them.”
Beasley reiterated that while also hinting at what they have planned for the outdoor season.
“It’s just time for us to not write back to y’all,” Beasley said. “We’re just gonna keep our heads down and keep moving. We’ll go win us a natty and break the national record again and then outdoors we’ll try to do it again. Win that natty and then go break that national record because we’re right there so let’s go do it.”
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